Research Associate - Pelka Lab

San Francisco, CA
May 20, 2022
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Lab/Area:Pelka Lab


We are recruiting a Research Associate (RA) to assist with our efforts to systematically dissect multicellular interaction networks in human tumors to improve immunotherapy. We are a new lab within the joint Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology. Our goal is to better understand how immune, stromal, and malignant cells are working together in complex human tissues to sense danger, initiate, execute, and terminate customized defense mechanisms, and re-establish homeostasis. We are especially interested in innate immune mechanisms that set the stage for whether or not anti-tumor responses are successful. Our work is based on our recent single cell RNA sequencing and spatial profiling effort that revealed several immunologically relevant and spatially-organized multicellular interaction networks, ‘immune hubs’, in tumor tissues from patients with colorectal cancer (Pelka et al. Cell 202). The next step is to decode the intercellular communication pathways within and between immune hubs to learn how the hubs form, how they function, how they evolve over time, and how pre-existing hubs impact future immune responses. To this end, we will perform high-throughput and high-content CRISPR-based perturbation screens in human ex vivo and mouse in vivo models and draw from the patient-derived tissue and organoid resources that we have built. Our work has the potential to reveal fundamental rules of tumor and tissue immunology, identify biomarkers of response, and discover novel drug targets to improve immunotherapy.

The RA will work in one or several of the four key areas in the lab, namely (1) Spatial profiling of immune hubs in patient specimens; (2) Human ex vivo cell-cell interaction screens (3); Mouse in vivo cell interaction screens; (4) Characterizing the epigenetic impact of immune hubs on malignant cells. Depending on the area, the project will involve working with primary tumors, human patient-derived organoids and cell lines, or transplantable tumor mouse models. Methods will include tissue culture, flow cytometry, single cell and spatial transcriptomics, droplet-based technologies, and genetic perturbation using CRISPR. This position is ideal for highly motivated applicants who are looking for an opportunity to further develop their basic laboratory skills, gain knowledge in immunology, tumor biology, gene editing, single cell and spatial technologies, and aim to eventually drive their own independent research projects. The RA will be embedded in the dynamic and vibrant research community of the Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology with ample of training and career development opportunities.

Please submit your complete application documents including CV and references.

Required Qualifications:

  • BA/BS degree and one or more years of laboratory experience utilizing techniques or methods required by the position; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with general laboratory techniques, especially basic molecular and cellular biology techniques (including but not limited to mammalian cell culture, DNA and RNA isolation, PCR, immunohistochemistry, DNA assembly, bacterial transformation)
  • Highly self-motivated, reliable and responsible.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Willingness and ability to learn new methods and skills for changing research priorities
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • Attention to detail in experimental techniques and record keeping.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience with DNA sequencing technologies
  • Prior experience with next-generation sequencing library preparation and quality control
  • Prior experience with flow cytometry
  • Prior experience with transplantable tumor models in mice
  • Quantitative data analysis skills highly desirable

Additional Information:
  • Title and salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
  • Gladstone is an equal opportunity employer.